No GPS Required

image. expectations vs realityExpectations.  Yikers.  The mere mention of the word has the needle on my perfection-meter bouncing all over the place.

What is an expectation anyway?  An expectation is the idea that we hold ourselves or others to an experience or achievement that we believe will, without a doubt, happen in the future.  And assumptions are as attached to expectations as ice cream is to the hips.  We make the assumption that because of ABC, well . . . DEF surely must follow  . . . and so it will merrily go until XYZ gives us a cute curtsy at the final curtain call and we can all go home.

There is a certain, oftentimes hidden, agenda of chronological events — an order Continue reading

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Kick off your shoes . . . and dance!

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Never miss a chance to dance.  Never.  

It’s Saturday.  If you have the day off, dance.  If you are on your way to work, dance.  

Dancing — guaranteed — will make a fun and positive difference in your day!

The Unseen Words Project wishes you a day of happy dancing.  

You’re looking good, people!  Really good!

 

 

 

Riding Shotgun

What is one dream scenario that you have lost sight of?

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Yesterday I was crossing the street, waiting for a break in traffic.  A small, beat-up truck passed me — the very kind of truck I used to drive — and I saw a man driving with his dog riding shotgun.  Remembering my one most-amazing-and-wondrous dog who rode shotgun with me in my old truck, I felt a pang of sweet memory pass through my very core.

This particular dog went everywhere with me, so it was a common sight to see the two of us toodling around the county with the windows rolled down while singing along to some tune on a cassette tape.  The dog actually had a better singing voice than I did, but she was no critic.  Happy were we who got to go everywhere together.

When I saw this man and his happy pup in that truck, a dart of awareness passed through me.  It was one of those movie-montage moments where I could view time on film.  I could see me and my furry friend driving here and there in the succession of broken-down trucks that I had the misfortune of owning.

Yesterday as I watched the truck go jouncing down the road, I realized that one of my essential criteria for living a happy life had somehow slipped through the cracks of my ever-shifting paradigms.  At one time in my life, I would not even consider a job opportunity unless my dog could accompany me throughout the work day.  I turned down jobs in Alaska, California, Canada . . ..  If I couldn’t bring my faithful sidekick, I knew that the job wasn’t the right one for me.  As chosen priorities lead to reality, I ended up opting to live in a wall tent on 572,000 acres in a wilderness area.  It was a great situation where my boss did not care in the least if my dog tagged along.

The situation had all the potentiality of being lonely, but I never thought of it that way.  I was living in the midst of all of this incredible grandeur and my dog was right there by my side.  She was my true-blue, thick-and-thin companion in the middle of all that vast quiet.  She would run ahead of me on the trail and defy any bear, cougar, coyote, or free-range horse to come anywhere near us.  My time within all of that beauty there was such a rare opportunity, I appreciated every single day that passed.

All of this was bound to change.  And it did. During my years there, this ace #1 dog-of-a-lifetime passed on to Dog Heaven and other canine companions joined me.  Ultimately, a new job opportunity came up and I couldn’t pass it up.  The only problem?  I couldn’t bring my new dog to work with me.  The schedule was pretty good and the two of us were still able to get out and roam the trails on our 3-day weekends . . . but there was a shift.  And it was bigger than me not being able to bring my dog to work.  It was me compromising on what was important to me.

Looking back, I can see that “Bringing My Dog to Work” served as a bullet point on my Higher Self’s mission statement.

The years have passed.  That job led to another dog-restricted job.  Then I returned to school, and we all know how major universities feel about dogs sitting outside classrooms waiting for their human.  Not a good idea.  The mornings were full of classroom time and the afternoons were taken up by various half-ass jobs that supported me through school.

Outdoor-dog time grew to be more limited for me and free-range hikes turned into long evening strolls through the neighborhood.  Life had changed, as had I.  It didn’t occur to me at the time that I was focused on Ahead instead of looking at Right Now.

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theunseenwordsproject.com

All of these compromises.  With me feeling so buried by my decisions concerning education and future employment, the changes were all taking on priority status without me realizing that I was granting permission, one way or another, to something that was counter-intuitive to my internal mission statement.  I don’t rightly know how it all happened.  I don’t know when a yes became a no and a no became a yes.  Life changed when I consciously reversed the two and said it was all for a Better Future.

That’s the problem with giving in and giving up . . . you don’t realize that it has all happened until it feels like it’s too late to do anything about it anymore.  But that’s just it . . . it’s not too late.  Not at all.  All sorts of good decisions are before me.  All I have to do is choose.

Life is a lively event.  So many baby steps lead to where we are today.  Today, I want to honor my preferences.  Back up a little bit and review my Mission Statement.  Do a little editing maybe and re-commit to what is still important.  Invite my dream to ride shotgun with me again, roll down the windows, and belt out a tune.

How about you?

  • What’s riding shotgun on your Mission Statement? On your personal manifesto?
  • What’s one dream scenario that you have lost sight of?
  • Is it still alive inside you?
  • Are you ready to take some baby steps to renew it in your life?

We sometimes feel so bogged down by the progression of changes that have taken place in life that it can feel like it is impossible to reinstate one of our long-ago dreams.

Today might be the day that you sit down and ask what is important to you.

  • Commit it all to paper.
  • Keep the items approachable by using simple language. Dreams, written in your own language, will mean more to you than if they are crafted using lofty words and expressions.
  • Put your manifesto where you can see it easily and daily. Maybe it is your bathroom mirror or it is the wall by your desk or on a kitchen cupboard.  The important thing is that you make it visible.
  • Read your manifesto aloud. It might feel weird the first few times you do this, but it is as important that you hear the words as it is seeing the words.
  • When making decisions, think about what is important to you. Let your Higher Self guide you.
  • Dreams are meant to be followed.  Follow them.  They know the way.

 

 

 

 

Author bio: Kennedy Farr’s passion for writing caught light at the age of four when she first learned how to spell her name at a yellow kitchen table on a sheet of lined tablet paper.  Kennedy is a daily writer and blogger, a lifelong learner, and a true believer that something wonderful is happening right now in this very moment.  Kennedy lives high on the mountainside of an emerald-green island in the Pacific Northwest.

Website: https://theunseenwordsproject.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theunseenwords

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Unseen-Words-Project-1095815913825818/ 

 

Get out your Friday dancin’ shoes!

dance shoes vintageWhen was the last time you just stood up in your office or your living room or your kitchen and started to dance because you just had to?

Well, today is the perfect day for it.  Get out your Saturday morning dance shoes.  Twist and shout and move around the room and have some fun.

Or when was the last time you dug out a pair of heels and went dancing at some honky tonk with that crazy-good band that sticks to the great dance covers?  The band that plays Aretha, Stevie Wonder, and Coldplay.  Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, and Earth, Wind & Fire.  Grand Funk Railroad.  The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  The kind of music that speaks directly to some intimate and rhythmic part of you that tells you that you just have to dance.

The kind of songs that you can’t help but sing along with.  Someone told me once that if you succumb to peer pressure and find yourself up on the stage with a karaoke mic in your hand, pick Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline.  It is guaranteed that you won’t be singing alone by the time you get to the chorus.

Wherever you are, turn on some music and dance.  It is good for you in so many ways.  Movement clears your chakras and inspires happiness.  It limbers you up and gets you moving in ways that everyday life pretty much ignores. It instills grace and improves flexibility.  It can also reduce stress.  And it’s pretty difficult to be dancing to some awesome music and not smile.  Maybe even impossible.

Life is a lively event, and it sure is quick.  Do yourself a favor and do some dancing today. This mashup will definitely get you moving!  These dancers have got some serious moves!

Allen Wrenches & Due Diligence

moving

Whew. Almost done!

It has been a few weeks since moving in to my new home, so I decided to drag out the last of the last and unpack some of the final boxes that have been cluttering the living room.  I set a goal.  I was determined not to stop my efforts until at least three of the offending boxes were distributed and emptied.

These remaining boxes are those that are filled with the unsorted and the unwanted semi-useful things you discover you have at the end of any move . . . things like salsa jars of nails and screws, odd assortments of pens, paper clips, and rubber bands, virgin flat sponges awaiting the magical release of hydration.  Headsets that may or may not function, mystery remote controls, loose buttons, loose batteries that might work so you best keep them.  Plastic cutlery, paper doilies for making Valentines, a voice recorder with no corresponding USB cord, candles, napkin rings.  And those dratted twist ties.  Why do we save so damn many twist ties?

You know the mix.  Stuff that doesn’t really “go with” any of the other “themed” boxes at the tail end of a move.  Stuff that we call “junk” but feel compelled to move with us. Stuff that we throw into boxes as the carpet cleaner is arriving, all while chanting to self, I will survive this move!

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And so it begins . . .

After such an epic move, three boxes isn’t so much.  Victory would be mine today.  I started with Box #1.  But lo.  Midway down in the box I found an unassembled Desktop Foosball Table in its glossy unopened box.  What a waste to not be having fun with this, I thought.  This foosball table was a gift from someone who loves me, who knows how I love foosball, who wants me to have fun in life.  I decided that it was time, right then and there, to do something that I never do: assemble something on the spot. By myself.  Drop everything and just do it.  My unpacking screeched to a stop.  It was time to assemble.

I am one of those personality types who does not read directions.  When I get a new phone or fancy appliance, I conscientiously file its new manual neatly with the others from various small and large appliances — in the event of dysfunctional emergency.

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Yikes!  There are a lot of pieces!

Truth, I think I am directions-phobic.  I know that it must sound weird, but when I start reading directions, I stress.  My stomach knots up, and I feel panic-y.  Why?  I don’t know. I have the native intelligence to read and comprehend the required steps.  Still, it feels more intuitive for me to find my way, experientially so, than by reading that tiny, tiny print in the directions.

I remember the towel bar that I put up in the bathroom.  I was so proud of the initial efforts: buying it at the harware store.  I borrowed a drill from a colleague and found a level in the garage.  I then spent untold perfection-istic algebraic minutes trying to perfectly level the bar by performing algebraic feats of ratios, circumferences, and order of operations . . . only to find, when cleaning up my mess, that there were clear directions in the box with a handy-dandy paper guide that you tape to the wall — which would have made everything so much easier in the leveling process.

Instead, I solved my equations, measured, leveled, and drilled.  I persevered.  Three new and unnecessary holes dotting the wall later, the bar was finally mounted . . . quite level actually . . . but unfortunately with clean up that required a session of spackling, sanding, and painting.  Sometimes it’s not easy being green.

This is what I learned from my DIY foosball table assembly:

  1. Before undertaking any project of this magnitude, find your reading glasses.
  2. Organize your resources. If the directions say that you are going to need a flathead screwdriver, track down the screwdriver before you begin.
  3. Don’t be intimidated by technical terms like “Allen wrench.” Google is my friend.
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    All of the necessary hardware

    Lay your hardware out in an organized fashion. Try not to lose or squander resources.

  5. Appreciate clairvoyant hardware-packaging people who include one extra washer and one extra tiny screw. (See #4.)
  6. Rely on previous experience. Washers are provided for a reason.
  7. Some steps are best done collaboratively. It does no good to screw one of four screws in really tightly and then have to back it off to fit the others.
  8. Rely on finished-product pictures that are provided. Foosball is about winning.  Situating all red team members on the defensive end of the playing field creates no offense to win.
  9. Too much zeal during assembly can result in split and broken pieces.
  10. When all 4 pieces split upon application, it might not be about your zeal. It might be about a lesser-quality product. (See #9.)
  11. It’s okay not to ask for help.
  12. You can break a sweat using an Allen wrench.
  13. Just because you don’t ask for help and you strip a screw head doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. (See #11 & #12.)
  14. Having opposable thumbs is fun and highly advantageous.
  15. Being determined is rewarding.
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Nice, huh?

Why I feel so accomplished after assembling a miniature foosball table all by myself is a bit of mystery to me.  And a bit comical.  I think it must have more to do with “finishing something” with only a set of directions and my wits than it does with conquering assembly with an Allen wrench – my new favorite tool, by the way.

I also feel like its assembly honored my loved one who gave it to me.  I must write her a note and thank her for the foosball fun.  Thanks, AW!

The little lesson from this: I can slow down and manage the steps required to meet my end goals.  Life isn’t all about speed.  I think I am intimidated by, and sometimes disappointed in, my own lack of follow-through at times.  I might speed across the finish line, but how many washers, screws, and essential pieces do I deem unnecessary and then discard or lose along the way?

As I was cleaning up my post-assembly mess, I tossed the Allen wrench into the Rubbermaid catch-all under the laundry room sink.  I paused.  And fished it back out.  It is now on my desk to serve as a reminder that I’ve got this.  I can survive taking the time to read directions, even if it makes my stomach wrench (no pun intended.)

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Let’s play!

Am I happy with the results of my efforts?  Yes.  Did I learn something?  Very much yes.  The Boxes of the Unsorted in my living room still beckon to me.  I am now wondering what other lessons await my due diligence.  I will tuck my Allen wrench talisman into my back pocket for luck and will persevere until all is sorted and stored.  Life is good. I’ve got this!

A Friendly Reminder on the Trail of Life

IMG_2793I came upon this 3-D message as I was hiking around Mountain Lake last Sunday.  It was at the top of a good uphill stretch, and it gave me much to think on as I finished the hike. I imagined that someone must have paused at the crest to rest, all the while feeling grateful for that moment in time.

Life is good.  Such a simple thing to say or to write, yet sometimes so challenging to absorb, initiate, model, embrace, believe, communicate.  Today, I am going into the day with this image in my mind and this prayer and intention in my heart: Let my heart give thanks and be glad in life’s goodness.  The alternative (overwhelmed, distracted, preoccupied to name a few) isn’t very pleasant, and the flip side to positive is such a drag on my energy, my creativity, and my relationships.

pencil stubToday’s journaling is fun, simple, quick, and includes working with some fun and easy pie charts that portray the Circle of Life . . .  your Circle of Life.  You can download this enlightening prompt by clicking on the aqua-blue link below:

Life is Good. journaling prompt

[Print this prompt out, 3-hole punch it, and start your journaling binder.   Take the writing journey and listen . . . you can’t get lost when you are following your own heart.  After all, you are the only one who can hear what it has to say.  The only one.  Relax, read, think, feel, listen, write.  Repeat.  And enjoy the journey.  It is a fine one, and one that is perfectly-made just for you, I promise.  Life is meant to be grown.]